A growing collection of in-depth interviews with people of all ages and backgrounds, whose stories about the legacy and changing nature of Yiddish language and culture offer a rich and complex chronicle of Jewish identity.
Leonard Nimoy's Oral History
Leonard Nimoy - Jewish actor most well-known for his role as Spock on the Star Trek science fiction series - was interviewed by Christa Whitney in Los Angeles, California on October 15, 2013. Parts of this interview are in Yiddish, subtitled in English.
This interview was conducted in Yiddish and English.
Leonard Nimoy was born in Boston, Massachusetts in 1931. Leonard, z"l, died in 2015.
Video highlights from this oral history
Leonard Nimoy's Mameloshn: A Yiddish Story9 minutes 53 seconds
Leonard Nimoy Remembers Boston's West End Neighborhood7 minutes 10 seconds
Live Long and Prosper: The Jewish Story Behind Spock, Leonard Nimoy's Star Trek Character5 minutes 27 seconds
Leonard Nimoy's Stint Working With Yiddish Theatre Director and Actor Maurice Schwartz4 minutes
Leonard Nimoy Shares His Sense of Zaslav, His Parents’ Hometown2 minutes 55 seconds
“This Is What I Have To Do With The Rest Of My Life”: Starting an Acting Career Outside the West End5 minutes 57 seconds
A Catholic Could Never Be President?: The Political Atmosphere of Leonard Nimoy’s Childhood Home2 minutes 43 seconds
An Encore Bar Mitzvah Performance: Leonard Nimoy Reflect on his Religious Exposure as a Child2 minutes 41 seconds
Leonard Nimoy on the Search for A Heymish, Comfortable Jewish Community in California2 minutes 19 seconds
Paying a Psychotherapist to Speak Yiddish With Me1 minute 38 seconds
Leonard Nimoy Reflects On The Experience Of Playing Tevye In His Hometown2 minutes 30 seconds
“Closing The Circle”: Leonard Nimoy On Meeting Nimoy Relatives in Zaslav11 minutes 29 seconds
Leonard Nimoy Remembers His First Foray Into Yiddish Theater in Los Angeles1 minute 57 seconds
Reciting Itzik Manger’s Poem, “Afn Veg Shteyt a Boym (By the Road Stands a Tree)”2 minutes 17 seconds
More information about this oral history
- Favorite Yiddish word
- Yiddish words
- Family histories
- Jewish Identity
- Yiddish language
- Yiddish learning
- Coming back to Yiddish
- Yiddish speaker
- Visual Arts
- World War II
- Old Country
- Eastern Europe
- Soviet Union
- United States
- Yiddish personalities
- Jewish community
- West End
- Los Angeles
- Maurice Schwartz
- Janet Hadda
- Star Trek
- science fiction
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About the Wexler Oral History Project
Since 2010, the Yiddish Book Center’s Wexler Oral History Project has recorded more than 500 in-depth video interviews that provide a deeper understanding of the Jewish experience and the legacy and changing nature of Yiddish language and culture.
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